MRB Blog

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2021-04-01-0424

Long and Skinny or Long and Wide?

Should a white water dory carry its passengers in the middle? Or out a the ends like a Briggs?

I want the weight in the middle of the boat rather than out at the ends. For a lot of reasons.

In a high rocker boat passengers out at the ends are high up rather than low down. That makes the boat unnecessarily tippy.
Weight in the middle is more side to side stable and easier and quicker to turn.

Traditional Oregon dory builders know this. They have always put the payload as two or even three passengers across on a front seat relatively far back from the downstream end of the boat. That's how they perform best.

Two rogue traditions changed that: fly fishing and the Grand Canyon. For fly fishing you have to separate the two passengers. The boats become less maneuverable but that's the price you have to pay. The Grand Canyon is an odd story. Martin Litton paid Keith Steele to make a decked boat big enough to take four passengers. The Susy Two. Keith wasn't into it. He chopped in 15x48 boat in half and stretched it out to 19 feet long instead of scaling it up proportionately, so it was a long skinny boat with passengers at both ends.

He didn't want to build any more so Martin Litton got Jerry Briggs to do much the same. Not many Grand Canyon runners have ever tried to change anyhing. They build long skinny boats that are annoyingly side to side tippy. If a 19' foot boat had been scaled up proportionately, from the original Keith Steele boat, it would have been 60" inches wide not 48.

If it had been scaled up proportionately it could have carried all four passengers in the middle instead of the the ends. Which is how Oregon dories are supposed to work.

 


2021-02-07-1301

MRBoats Rapalica

Make a fifteen minute crank bait. Bait rod heavy or fly rod light. As you like it.

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2021-01-30-0611

High Tech Design Process

Mock up a few seats with buckets, coolers and milk crates. Sit there. Work the oars. Close your eyes and imagine were everything goes.

Think a hundred times. Cut once or twice. Cut a third or fourth time if you have to. There is no mistake that cannot be fixed. Some mistakes can be a bit expensive. But they're still fixable. All of them.
Boat Design Process

2021-01-27-1312

Decking!

How do you deck a big white water dory? Most builders build a deck 4 to 6" inches down from the gunwale.
decking start
I'm going to build it so the deck spans from the top of one side panel over to the top of the other. The gunwale is an inwale only and invisible at that because it will be below the deck. I'll put long low U-shaped grab rails all the way around the edges so tuff can't roll off the boat. But water will. The top of most boats become a 100 gallon scoop that takes up too long to drain in adrenalin situations. A flush deck will drain almost instantly. I want to keep the passenger seating area as small as possible too. I'm hoping there is no need to build those so they can collect another 200 gallons of water for each big wave.

Beyond that everything next is up in the air. Not even squarely in my head just yet. I'm winging this one. From the water up.

The decking will all be removable. So among other things I can remodel everything as time goes by. To start I want three side-by-side passenger slots slightly forward of the middle, with the rower behind that. There will be no fourth passenger. Not unless I build an alternate deck. But that's doable because all of this will bolt down over a thick foam gasket. Permanent nothing is a design goal here. Everything removable, fixable and changeable. Including side panels and gunwales. Older (move down)
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Do it your self wood fiberglass drift boat and white water dory plans

DIY Wood and Fiberglass Drift Boat Plans -- drift boat building -- online drift boat blueprints

The Honky Dory -- a wide white water dory

Now as a 15' foot or 17' foot boat The Honky Dory is more of a white water boat than the Beavertail. The Honky Dory is wide and stable in big water -- the 15' foot version (made from 16' foot side panels) is 56" inches wide under the oarlocks. Like most traditional Oregon-style boats the Honky Dory is wide up front too. Stitch and glue construction is assumed although all included plans can be adapted to traditional framed dory construction techinques. But unlike Oregonstyle boats the HD has a small front deck and movable/adjustable seats so the payload can be shifted forward enough to accommodate an additional fisherman behind the rower.

Beavertail: all around do anything boat well-suited to Fly Fishing, now as 15' or 17' feet

 

The Beavertail is an easy rowing day trip fly fishing guide boat. It turns well and holds well. Most important, the Beavertail trims properly with a husky passenger seated behind to rower.Not many boats--from any manufacturer or builder--can make that claim. All Boat Plans are offered online honly -- in other words what you get is a password to otherwise hidden portions of the website. As such there are no blueprints per se. Everything is offered online.

Buffalo Boat -- the smallest pickup truck boat that will hold three in the boat

 

Montana Riverboats Buffalo Boat

The buffalo is a standard 15' 48" wide driftboat chopped off at both ends. Unlike a Rapid Robert, which is pointed at one end, the Buffalo Boat is chopped off square at both ends. The idea was to build a short, lightweight pickup truck boat built from the fat business-only portions (the middle) of a standard boat. The Buffalo Boat is now going on 25 years old and still going strong. This one is sitting on a trailer, but the Buffalo Boat does fit nicely in the back of any standard size pickup. If you place it on top of a spare tire and drop the tailgate, it will even fit in the back of a small pickup.   The boat pictured here is a high-sided, fully-rockered Buffalo Boat. You can challenge surprisingly difficult water with this boat. Many users, however, do choose to reduce the rocker by up to 3", and to cut the height of the side panels down by as much as 4" or so, in order to make a less wind-resistent skiff, suitable for fly fishing in non-white-water conditions.

MRB Dayak -- as fun as white water gets

I love this little boat. Building plans and step-by-step instructions are not finished and perhaps never will be. The diagrams and dimensions are finished however. Experienced boat builders can plunge right in. Right now. Beginners should know there will be some problem-solving along the way. The important information is all there. But the step-by-step instructions are not. I'm 69 in 2017 and I've got other things to work on before I'm ...... So maybe it's best to think of this as a freeby add-on to the completed plan sets already available. This little boat sure is fun to row. I can do anything with it. Even head back upstream at times. You can hold it in fast water and turn on a dime. And it sure is stable, even in very big water. It's a great little white water boat, although I did flip in once, after dropping into an 8' foot hole sideways, like a fool, because I was trying to ferry away from a wave train and didn't see it coming.

 

DIY Stitch and Glue Drift Boat Building. Digital blueprints, online plans images diagrams and step by step instructions

One-off Wood/Fiberglass and All Fiberglass Construction

Purchase a $30 dollar plans access password

  • Dimensions and instructions for five different boats
  • How to hull
  • How to design and build your own hull from scratch
  • How build a stitch and glue boat from someone else's framed-boat blueprints

How much does a home built boat cost?